Quick Recipes and Easy

Tournedos Rossini

Gioacchino Rossini “I know of no better occupation than eating, eating well that is. Appetite is to the stomach what like is to the heart. Our stomach is the conductor to the grand orchestra of our passions”.

This quote of Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) helps us know the devotion of the Italian master to food.

His biographers write that already as a boy, one of his joys was to be an altar boy so that he could drink the sacramental wine left over from mass! Before becoming well-known, and consequentially rich, he is said to have been always small on money because he could not resist the temptation of a excellent restaurant or bottle of fine wine.

In the span of time between his first opera “Demetrio e Polibio”, which he wrote at 14, and his last “Guillaume Tell”, written at 37, Rossini claimed to have “known all of the most well-known chefs on the continent.” He spent the last 40 years of his life largely in Paris, enjoying the company of his friends and the comforts of excellent food.

Antonin Carême, the most well-known chef of the century, held that no one on earth understood his cuisine better than Rossini. A close friendship between the two “maestri” arose. Many dishes were dedicated to Rossini by Carême and the chefs of the numerous fashionable restaurants where there was always a table reserved for Rossini and his friends. Upon entering a restaurant, it was Rossini’s habit to greet and shake hands with first the maitre and the sommelier and then all of the waiters. Before sitting down, he visiting the kitchen to greet the chef and see what was cooking. There are two tales about the tournedos Rossini. One holds that it was the chef Casimir Moisson from the Maison Doree restaurant to have dedicated it to him. The second instead holds that while at the café des Anglais in Paris, Rossini insisted upon going into the kitchen to see the chef while cooking. Since he kept on interfering with the chef’s work, the poor chef dared voice his objection to the constant interruption and so the maestro responded “et alors, tournez le dos!” (So then, turn your back!).

Serves 4

4 slices white bread, without crusts and trimmed to the size of the tournedos

150g butter

4 slices of fois gras

4 120g tournedos fillets

2 spoons of olive-oil

salt and pepper

12 slices of black truffle

The sauce:

3 spoons of Madeira

1 lean spoon of Maizena

200ml of chicken broth or surrogate

salt and pepper

Cut the slices of bread in such a way so that they have more or less the diameter of the fillets, fry them in 50g of butter on both sides and keep them warm.

In a non-stick pan, pan-fry the fois gras in another 50g of butter on both sides over a low flame. These warm as well. In the same pan add 2 spoons of olive oil and the remaining butter, cook the 4 fillets over a high flame, 2 minutes on each side, so that they become medium-rare. Add salt and pepper and set the fillets on the bread slices. Pan-fry the truffles in the leftover juices from the fillets and then set both the fois gras and the truffles on the fillets. Always in the same pan, dissolve what is left at the bottom of the pan with 2 spoons of Madeira, then add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Thicken the sauce by adding the Maizena and the remaining Madeira. Top it off with a pinch of salt. Mix the sauce well, pass it through a strainer and then pour it onto the fillets.

David Russo, VMD, PhD
Veterinary Scientist, Gourmet Lover and Amateur Cook
high-net-worth-gourmet.com GOURMET MEATS AND SEAFOOD
mailto:david_russo@high-net-worth-gourmet.com CONTACT US



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